The following article has been posted by Nik Shah from WikiJob….
So if you’re having problems like I did after graduating from university trying to land that all important first job, Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door and on to your career ladder.
I left university with a degree and a masters and I thought I’d easily be able to land my dream job. However, the one thing that nearly all companies are after from graduates is work experience, preferable industry related. I spent months looking for work and despite having or excelling the educational requirements; I more often than not did not meet their work experience requirements.
So to gain some valuable work experience, I started applying for Internships whether it was for one month or 12 months duration. However I didn’t realise that the majority of internships are unpaid. As soon as we finish university we all want to be earning a decent salary to start paying back our student loans or in some cases, the folks. At first this put me off from applying for Internships, but you have to remember that we are still young and have the rest of our lives to earn money. So the most important thing while we’re young is to gain some invaluable work experience and Internships provide that. Despite many Internships being unpaid, companies can cover travel, lunch expenses and even reward bonuses on the basis of your performances.
Internships can give you an idea of what working life is like and whether you enjoy your chosen career path. Also if your employer sees you doing a great job they can extend your Internship to gain those extra months of experience or even offer you a permanent, paid role. Another good thing about taking an Internship shows future employers or other jobs you are applying for that you are proactive and willing to work to gain experience whilst sacrificing a wage.
Since I undertook my Internship, I have gained valuable work experience and after just a few months of undertaking an Internship my job applications for paid roles have become more successful with companies inviting me to interviews more often.
If you’re struggling to find Internships, check out graduate jobs website WikiJob.co.uk. There is a great list of both large and small companies on the site that offer a range of Internships and there is also a great deal of interview preparation material (for example, practice numerical tests) that can help you ace your interviews.